Roommates Fight

Starting college can be one of the most exciting times in one's life. For most, it is the first true experience of independence, responsibility and freedom which comes with becoming an adult. In the midst of this new chapter, a student is now responsible for regulating their own education, extracurriculars and social life. While this newfound freedom and responsibility is often enjoyable and rewarding, it comes with many of its own challenges as well.

One of the most difficult trials to overcome is moving away from one's family and support groups while also being thrown into a new living situation. Cohabiting with roommates in a residence hall or apartment is uncharted territory and is a highly valuable skill to learn whether they are a stranger or an old friend. It is not always an easy skill to obtain, but it is possible to become more adept at handling conflict with roommates by utilizing communication, directness and mutual understanding.

Communication is key when beginning new relationships, whether it applies to friends, significant others or roommates. However, even with communication, conflict is still inevitable. The first way to help moderate this clash is to learn about each other's personalities, convictions and general lifestyle. Communicating well with roommates helps all involved to respect each other's boundaries and helps prevent conflict from arising. Birgit Ohlin of Positive Psychology emphasizes the importance of constant and positive communication in the establishment and upkeep of any relationship. The key to cohabiting well is making a true effort to know someone.

As is to be expected, not every way you or a roommate behaves will be ideal. There will be times when they will say or do something uncalled for or irritating. In many instances, being a well-adapted roommate is learning to forgive and overlook these moments, but in some cases they will persist. When a roommate is continually acting in a way which is bothersome or harmful to the overall living situation, action will need to be taken to resolve this conflict. This brings us to our next tip—being direct.

The fastest route to resolving conflict quickly is being direct with a roommate and telling them what behavior is bothersome so they are aware and know exactly what they need to fix. Silence and complacency only make conflict grow, many times without the other individual's knowledge of the issue. Cindy Lamothe for Healthline explains that passive aggressive behavior and ignoring problems only leads to a larger problem in the long run. One first has to acknowledge and address conflict to end it. Directness with roommates in uncomfortable situations is the best way to lessen repercussions in the long run.

Roommates can communicate and address conflict continuously, but without prioritizing a mutual respect, these actions alone will not take them very far. Above all, the most important attribute in any living situation is respecting each other as individuals. Kindness and empathy will never harm a relationship. Elizabeth Scott of Very Well Mind urges people when responding to criticism or receiving it to listen and try to understand the other person's pain and respond with empathy for their feelings. No matter how different two roommates are, if they seek to respect each other first and foremost, they can overcome any conflict.

While living well with roommates may appear easy, it takes more work and regulation than one would expect at face value. Like any good and rewarding situation, one must put in time and effort to ensure success. College is full of new and exciting experiences, some more challenging than others. Everyone experiences conflict at some point, but how they deal with and handle it sets them apart from the rest. Conflict can be big or small and vary greatly, but as long as all involved choose to treat each other with kindness and respect above all else, any issue can be resolved!

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